Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Two guys, three maps, a GPS and an odometer:  this sounded like an impending side trip.  Youngest Son was preparing for a one hundred mile bicycle ride and he wanted to explore the route.  DH was just excited for an excuse to use his GPS for a real expedition.  They gathered their gear and climbed in the front of the car.  I got in the back with my camera.

The course purposefully followed back roads as much as possible so the riders would be able to avoid heavy traffic.  (Around here heavy traffic is two pickup trucks backed up behind a large tractor pulling some kind of heavy farm equipment while a huge motor home is coming from the other direction.)

While I did drive by shootings of horses

and cows.  The guys carried on about missing the bridge and turning left at mile twenty-eight.  And was that 600 or 800 north?

I took pictures out the window of the Idaho side of the Grand Teton mountains.

As the afternoon progressed big storm clouds materialized. 

Rain came to settle the dust.  Youngest Son was glad this wasn’t the day of the ride.  He’s done bad weather before.

The guys were able to find their way to the half-way point of the route.  It was Upper Mesa Falls along the Henry’s Fork of the Snake River.   There the water takes a spectacular tumble over a ridge of volcanic rock.  We drove into the parking lot.  The guys checked their maps and position and congratulated themselves—mission accomplished. 

There was a five dollar entrance fee per carload to go down the path to the viewing area.  DH said something about how we’d been there several times and not having that much in cash.  And besides it was raining.  He started to drive back to the highway.

WAIT A MINUTE!  I didn’t ride this far to miss the main attraction!  I pulled out five dollars.  We went back.

I was busy shooting pictures so the guys got ahead of me.

Upper Mesa Falls is one of the last large undisturbed waterfalls in the western United States.  Lower Mesa Falls is the other one.

The mist from the falling water can rise higher than an eleven story building.

The water drops 110 feet.
Those are my toes.  This photo was taken while standing behind the safety of a sturdy metal rail barrier.
We took the highway home.


Kamana said...

wow what a waterfall. and love the scenic ride!

TALON said...

Thank you for taking me on the side trip. You live in an absolutely stunning part of the world. Gorgeous photos!

I'm glad you paid the $5 - it was worth every penny :)

Linda Sue said...

WHOA- can't breathe- the mountains, the falls! Astonishing! Being up high like that at the falls - I always have the JUMP urge. I wonder why the five buck fee???Did they build the falls and do they control the on off switch?

Leenie said...

Linda Sue: The fee covers upkeep of the parking and picnic area, and public bathrooms. There is also an old stagecoach inn where travelers stayed on their way to Yellowstone Park which has been turned into an interpretive center. Plans were made early on to channel the falls for hydroelectric use. Fortunately they were overruled.

Kilauea Poetry said...

When I got in to your site and looked at your header, a Rooster crowed in the distance! These are fabulous..thats neat your son bikes (I remember that last post of him when you got that storm)! They like that GPS..(lol)
Really vast open territory. I think we should post a day of drive by shootings!
Good thing you coughed up the five!! Beautiful falls! Incredible tour Leenie (thanks for the info) the mist.. and I see your toes!!

frayedattheedge said...

Worth every penny (or cent!!). Even I would have overcome my fear of heights over water to take photos of such a spectacular sight. I love how blogging gives us the chance to see each others' worlds!

DayPhoto said...

WOW!!! I want to come and see Idaho, really see Idaho.

Until then, THANK YOU!!!



I agree, a well spent $5.00

Sarah said...

Wow Great waterfall! I am not surprised you didn't want to miss it! It looks really beautiful where you live-so clean and open and lots of fresh air-I presume! Your son sounds a bit like my brother in his choice of leisure activity and your husband like my Dad with his use of gadgetry-it is great when these things have a purpose! My brother just did a 45 mile run/walk in the hills of Scotland, partly at night. We are so different! Good luck to your son on his bike ride.